The Arab-Israeli conflict definitely holds the record for the most bizarrely treated issue in modern history. It is easy to forget just how strange this situation is and the extent to which it is understood and handled so totally different from other, more rationally, perceived problems. Let's take a very simple example and examine the surrealistic, bizarre way in which normally sensible people and institutions respond.
On February 4, 2008, two terrorists attacked the quiet town of Dimona in southern Israel. One blew himself up near a toy store in a marketplace, killing an elderly woman and wounding forty people. The other was injured in the first blast and, before he could detonate his own bomb, was killed by a policeman.
At first, some Fatah officials claimed that one of the men was theirs, from that group's al-Aqsa Brigades; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the second belonged to them. Such are the bare facts. But from here it gets far stranger.
Apparently, Fatah and the PFLP did dispatch a two-man terrorist team, but they were apparently caught before crossing into Israel. At the exact same time, Hamas sent another duo, and they succeeded in reaching Dimona. Thus, through no fault of their own, Fatah and the PFLP did not actually commit the attack. But they tried and would have preferred to have carried out the terrorist assault. From here, a number of conclusions should be obvious:
1). The nature of Fatah. Why is Fatah, the organization routinely described as moderate by Western governments and media, involved in constant terrorism attempts--and sometimes successes--against Israel?
The al-Aqsa Brigades are an integral part of Fatah. The Brigades' founder and leader is Marwan Barghouti who has been head of Fatah on the West Bank. Many of the Brigades' gunmen are on the Fatah payroll in various ways, often as members of security forces which are supposed to prevent...terrorism.
Of course, the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and in effect Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas "condemned" the attack. That is, he said he didn't like it. But no member of Fatah has ever been expelled from the organization or fired from the security forces for involvement in terrorism. The PA's media regularly broadcasts incitement to commit terrorism. It does not transmit television, radio, and newspaper demands on its members not to attack Israeli civilians.
So is Fatah a terrorist organization? Well, apparently not. Granted, Abbas personally would prefer these attacks not occur. In the Fatah spectrum he is at the moderate end. Nevertheless, he presides over a group that is terrorist and which regards itself as fighting a war against Israel whose main tactic is deliberately murdering civilians. It uses its funds for this purpose and encourages such behavior through program and propaganda.
A Reuters' dispatch about the attack, when it was thought to be perpetrated by Fatah, said it was a challenge for Abbas to control "rebels within his own Fatah faction." The point, however, is that they aren't rebels at all but rather members in good standing who probably have more support in Fatah than does Abbas himself.
2). International policy toward Fatah. Therefore, if Fatah, and the PA, should not be shunned at least they should be subjected to serious international pressure, right? If only for their own good since presumably the world believes that they are better off if they abandon terrorism? Again, apparently not.
Fatah is the group which is being given well about $7 billion by international donors. And there are no strings attached to that aid: no measure of whether Fatah uses or advocates terrorism whatsoever. It gets the money no matter what it does. There are good reasons for the West to work with, and even aid, the PA and Fatah but there are no good reasons for that support and aid to be unconditional.
3). Motive. Fatah officials said the reason for the attack was to protest Israeli "aggression" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. To begin with, of course, Israel is merely responding to rocket and mortar attacks on its territory. If these were to cease, Israel would never attack the Gaza Strip and continue to supply it--directly and indirectly--with its electricity. But if Israel were never to attack the Gaza Strip, the Hamas regime and its junior partners in the Gaza Strip would continue to attack Israel. By definition, then, they are the ones who are aggressive.
Incidentally, there are no sanctions whatsoever against the West Bank, which Fatah rules. Thus, Fatah is at war with Israel while Israel, despite periodic raids against individuals directly involved in terrorism, treats Fatah as a partner and urges countries to give it financial aid.
But there's more. Fatah is essentially coming to the aid of a Hamas regime which threw it out of Gaza and killed, sometimes in cold blood, and represses its own people. Why? Because Fatah and the PA are competing for Palestinian popular support in the Gaza Strip and the way that one does this is to murder Israeli civilians. This is a very telling definition of Palestinian politics, ideology, and public opinion.
4). The other terrorist killed was initially claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a radical Arab nationalist group, which also tried to kill Israeli civilians on that day. Recently, the founder and long-time head of the PFLP, George Habash, died. Habash was a veteran terrorist who practically invented airplane hijacking and international terrorism. Habash was lauded by the PA and Fatah at his funeral as a great hero of the movement.
Riyad al-Malki, the PA's Minister of Information and Foreign Affairs of the "moderate" PA is a PFLP member and ran the organization on the West Bank for many years. So when Western politicians and diplomats deal with the "moderate" PA they are talking directly to a man who played a leading role in a terrorist group which continues to make--and proudly claim responsibility for--terrorist attacks. Arab members of Israel's parliament went to the funeral and joined in the accolades for a terrorist whose group continues to murder their fellow citizens.
5). When the second terrorist fell as a result of the first explosion, Israeli medical personnel did not hesitate from rushing to help a man they thought was an Arab victim of the attack. Then the nurse saw the explosives' belt and realized the man she was trying to save was about to murder her. She had to run for her life, pulling along another wounded person, and yell for help from the police.
To summarize: Fatah acts as a terrorist group; the PA facilitates terrorism and includes people leading terrorist groups; Fatah views itself as an ally of a group that attacks it and murders its own members; the West aids Fatah and the PA with no attempt to discourage their behavior; Israeli Arab politicians side with terrorism; and Israelis, at the risk of their lives, try to save Arab lives, and would like to have a two-state solution if the other side is every able to make and implement such a deal. Oh, yes, and guess who much of the world blames for the conflict. As I said, uniquely bizarre.
Offensive traveller harassment by U.S. government bureaucrats
Nabila Mango, a therapist and a U.S. citizen who has lived in the country since 1965, had just flown in from Jordan last December when, she said, she was detained at customs and her cellphone was taken from her purse. Her daughter, waiting outside San Francisco International Airport, tried repeatedly to call her during the hour and a half she was questioned. But after her phone was returned, Mango saw that records of her daughter's calls had been erased.
A few months earlier in the same airport, a tech engineer returning from a business trip to London objected when a federal agent asked him to type his password into his laptop computer. "This laptop doesn't belong to me," he remembers protesting. "It belongs to my company." Eventually, he agreed to log on and stood by as the officer copied the Web sites he had visited, said the engineer, a U.S. citizen who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of calling attention to himself.
Maria Udy, a marketing executive with a global travel management firm in Bethesda, said her company laptop was seized by a federal agent as she was flying from Dulles International Airport to London in December 2006. Udy, a British citizen, said the agent told her he had "a security concern" with her. "I was basically given the option of handing over my laptop or not getting on that flight," she said.
The seizure of electronics at U.S. borders has prompted protests from travelers who say they now weigh the risk of traveling with sensitive or personal information on their laptops, cameras or cellphones. In some cases, companies have altered their policies to require employees to safeguard corporate secrets by clearing laptop hard drives before international travel.
Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Asian Law Caucus, two civil liberties groups in San Francisco, plan to file a lawsuit to force the government to disclose its policies on border searches, including which rules govern the seizing and copying of the contents of electronic devices. They also want to know the boundaries for asking travelers about their political views, religious practices and other activities potentially protected by the First Amendment. The question of whether border agents have a right to search electronic devices at all without suspicion of a crime is already under review in the federal courts.
The lawsuit was inspired by two dozen cases, 15 of which involved searches of cellphones, laptops, MP3 players and other electronics. Almost all involved travelers of Muslim, Middle Eastern or South Asian background, many of whom, including Mango and the tech engineer, said they are concerned they were singled out because of racial or religious profiling.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman, Lynn Hollinger, said officers do not engage in racial profiling "in any way, shape or form." She said that "it is not CBP's intent to subject travelers to unwarranted scrutiny" and that a laptop may be seized if it contains information possibly tied to terrorism, narcotics smuggling, child pornography or other criminal activity.
The reason for a search is not always made clear. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives, which represents 2,500 business executives in the United States and abroad, said it has tracked complaints from several members, including Udy, whose laptops have been seized and their contents copied before usually being returned days later, said Susan Gurley, executive director of ACTE. Gurley said none of the travelers who have complained to the ACTE raised concerns about racial or ethnic profiling. Gurley said none of the travelers were charged with a crime.
"I was assured that my laptop would be given back to me in 10 or 15 days," said Udy, who continues to fly into and out of the United States. She said the federal agent copied her log-on and password, and asked her to show him a recent document and how she gains access to Microsoft Word. She was asked to pull up her e-mail but could not because of lack of Internet access. With ACTE's help, she pressed for relief. More than a year later, Udy has received neither her laptop nor an explanation.
ACTE last year filed a Freedom of Information Act request to press the government for information on what happens to data seized from laptops and other electronic devices. "Is it destroyed right then and there if the person is in fact just a regular business traveler?" Gurley asked. "People are quite concerned. They don't want proprietary business information floating, not knowing where it has landed or where it is going. It increases the anxiety level."
Udy has changed all her work passwords and no longer banks online. Her company, Radius, has tightened its data policies so that traveling employees must access company information remotely via an encrypted channel, and their laptops must contain no company information.
At least two major global corporations, one American and one Dutch, have told their executives not to carry confidential business material on laptops on overseas trips, Gurley said. In Canada, one law firm has instructed its lawyers to travel to the United States with "blank laptops" whose hard drives contain no data. "We just access our information through the Internet," said Lou Brzezinski, a partner at Blaney McMurtry, a major Toronto law firm. That approach also holds risks, but "those are hacking risks as opposed to search risks," he said.
The U.S. government has argued in a pending court case that its authority to protect the country's border extends to looking at information stored in electronic devices such as laptops without any suspicion of a crime. In border searches, it regards a laptop the same as a suitcase. "It should not matter . . . whether documents and pictures are kept in 'hard copy' form in an executive's briefcase or stored digitally in a computer. The authority of customs officials to search the former should extend equally to searches of the latter," the government argued in the child pornography case being heard by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.
As more and more people travel with laptops, BlackBerrys and cellphones, the government's laptop-equals-suitcase position is raising red flags. "It's one thing to say it's reasonable for government agents to open your luggage," said David D. Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University. "It's another thing to say it's reasonable for them to read your mind and everything you have thought over the last year. What a laptop records is as personal as a diary but much more extensive. It records every Web site you have searched. Every e-mail you have sent. It's as if you're crossing the border with your home in your suitcase."
If the government's position on searches of electronic files is upheld, new risks will confront anyone who crosses the border with a laptop or other device, said Mark Rasch, a technology security expert with FTI Consulting and a former federal prosecutor. "Your kid can be arrested because they can't prove the songs they downloaded to their iPod were legally downloaded," he said. "Lawyers run the risk of exposing sensitive information about their client. Trade secrets can be exposed to customs agents with no limit on what they can do with it. Journalists can expose sources, all because they have the audacity to cross an invisible line."
Hollinger said customs officers "are trained to protect confidential information."
Shirin Sinnar, a staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, said that by scrutinizing the Web sites people search and the phone numbers they've stored on their cellphones, "the government is going well beyond its traditional role of looking for contraband and really is looking into the content of people's thoughts and ideas and their lawful political activities." If conducted inside the country, such searches would require a warrant and probable cause, legal experts said.
Customs sometimes singles out passengers for extensive questioning and searches based on "information from various systems and specific techniques for selecting passengers," including the Interagency Border Inspection System, according to a statement on the CBP Web site. "CBP officers may, unfortunately, inconvenience law-abiding citizens in order to detect those involved in illicit activities," the statement said. But the factors agents use to single out passengers are not transparent, and travelers generally have little access to the data to see whether there are errors.
Although Customs said it does not profile by race or ethnicity, an officers' training guide states that "it is permissible and indeed advisable to consider an individual's connections to countries that are associated with significant terrorist activity." "What's the difference between that and targeting people because they are Arab or Muslim?" Cole said, noting that the countries the government focuses on are generally predominantly Arab or Muslim.
It is the lack of clarity about the rules that has confounded travelers and raised concerns from groups such as the Asian Law Caucus, which said that as a result, their lawyers cannot fully advise people how they may exercise their rights during a border search. The lawsuit says a Freedom of Information Act request was filed with Customs last fall but that no information has been received.
Kamran Habib, a software engineer with Cisco Systems, has had his laptop and cellphone searched three times in the past year. Once, in San Francisco, an officer "went through every number and text message on my cellphone and took out my SIM card in the back," said Habib, a permanent U.S. resident. "So now, every time I travel, I basically clean out my phone. It's better for me to keep my colleagues and friends safe than to get them on the list as well."
Udy's company, Radius, organizes business trips for 100,000 travelers a day, from companies around the world. She says her firm supports strong security measures. "Where we get angry is when we don't know what they're for."
Not Dead Yet
BOOK REVIEW of: "Decline and Fall: Europe's Slow Motion Suicide", by Bruce S. Thornton. Review by Jacob Laksin
It used to be said that when it came to worldviews, Americans were from Mars and Europeans were from Venus. But a new school of thought posits a different role for our continental counterparts. Europe, in this schema, is more like a dying star: a once-brilliant civilization whose best days lie behind it, that has lost the internal strength to endure, and that is headed toward oblivion. Bruce Thornton, a classics professor at California State University, is the latest to take up this thesis. In Decline and Fall, he makes the case that a number of factors-including unsustainable welfare states, dwindling birthrates, undiscriminating immigration laws, a society disconnected from the transcendent truths of Christianity, and a failure to confront the gathering threat of Islamic jihadism aggressively-are leading Europe to commit "slow-motion suicide."
Government largesse may seem an unlikely source of civilizational decline, but Thornton shows that it is indeed cause for concern. Europeans have long favored generous welfare entitlements as a corrective to allegedly ruthless, American-style capitalism, but they can no longer afford them. And solutions aren't forthcoming. A massive influx of immigrants from the Middle East, unassimilated into European society, contributes little to economic growth. Meanwhile, tax receipts, required to sustain social-welfare benefits, may dry up as Europe ages. As The Economist recently reported, the projected median age in Europe in 2050 will be 53, meaning that a large population of young workers will be necessary to support the older generation's exit from the economy.
Unfortunately, there may not be enough workers. Thornton identifies another sign of Europe's fall from prominence: its ongoing baby bust. Despite policies like paid leave for new parents, benefit checks for children until the age of 18, and subsidies for child care, European births remain below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. Combine this population decline with a boom in Muslim immigration from the Middle East, and you have the makings of what scholar Bat Ye'or has called "Eurabia."
Thornton is right to underscore the defects of Europe's immigration policies, but his analysis might have been more compelling had he grappled with contrary evidence. In his 2004 book The Empty Cradle, for instance, demographer Phillip Longman presented data that birthrates were also falling in the Middle East. Indeed, according to some projections, by 2025 the Middle East as a whole may have fertility rates of only about 2.08. Algerian president Houari Boumedienne famously promised the Islamic world a victory that would emerge "from the wombs of our women," but the wombs, it seems, are not cooperating.
Thornton's assertion that religion, notably Christianity, is a receding force in European life stands on firmer statistical ground. Europe's historic cathedrals overflow with tourists, not parishioners, he rightly observes. Filling the space vacated by traditional religion are "pseudo-religions" like environmentalism, a movement that comes complete with its own apocalyptic prophecies (global warming), its own promises of salvation (through government regulation and other intrusions into the free market), and its own clerisy (Europe's electorally marginal yet influential Green parties). Related to the decline of faith is the rise of multiculturalism. In equal measure admiring of Third World cultures and disdainful of the West, it renders Europeans "incapable of defending their civilization against those who would destroy it."
Thornton leaves no doubt as to the identity of these enemies. The European Union, he writes, is now home to between 15 and 20 million Muslims, many of whom are not only unassimilated to the broader culture but also openly and sometimes violently hostile to it. Some of the blame, he acknowledges, must fall on European countries. Freeing up their economies might have given immigrants a chance to prosper, but they opted instead to throw money at the immigration problem in the form of welfare programs. Rage-filled ethnic ghettos like France's mainly Muslim banlieues are the unintended result.
But the fault lies, too, with the immigrants themselves. Unafraid of controversy, Thornton contends that a leading cause of violence among Muslim immigrants is their faith. Not distortions of Islam, but "core Islamic beliefs" about unbelievers and the obligations of jihad, are what drive Islamic extremists to abhor and, on occasion, attack their adoptive countries. In support of this view, which will not endear him to the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its European equivalents, Thornton marshals a bevy of well-known yet determinedly ignored statistics. For example, 40 percent of British Muslims approve of introducing sharia in the country. Nearly as many consider British culture to be a threat to the Muslim way of life. Anticipating the familiar objection that a "small minority of extremists" has hijacked the peaceful Muslim faith, Thornton calls attention to the troubling fact that 13 percent of British Muslims-some 200,000 people-say that they support violence against those who have offended them or their faith. Between one-third and one-fourth of French, Spanish, and British Muslims have "sometimes" supported suicide bombers. The usual tactic of those challenged with these details is to level charges of "Islamophobia" against their critics. Thornton justifiably dismisses such reactions as "smear terms used to demonize the unexceptional and empirically verifiable notion that in many respects Western culture is superior to others."
Less convincing is Thornton's suggestion that only a return to religious roots can empower Europe to confront Islamic extremism. If it is true that secularists are the main obstacle to a robust defense of the West, how does one explain such voices as Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wafa Sultan? Outspoken atheists, they also happen to be some of the most forceful champions of the liberal West against its jihadist enemies. Christian leaders and churches, furthermore, have sometimes been unreliable allies in this cause. Thornton hints as much when he notes that the archbishop of Canterbury, during a 2005 visit to Cairo, offered a groveling apology for the introduction of Christian hymns and prayers into remote parts of the world, lamenting that foreign peoples had been made "cultural captives" of the West. (This as opposed to the actual captives whom Islamic militants are so fond of beheading.)
A skeptic also might question Thornton's pessimism. France, the onetime refuge of Ayatollah Khomeini, has much to answer for when it comes to appeasing Islamic extremism, true, but its internal security service, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire, is one of the most effective counterterrorism forces in the world. Its broad powers of surveillance, including preventive detention of terrorist suspects without charge, far exceed those of intelligence agencies in the United States.
Or consider Britain. Thornton provides some astonishing examples of willful ignorance-for example, London police commissioner Sir Ian Blair's sanguine assurance that "there is nothing wrong with being an Islamic fundamentalist." Yet it is mistaken to assume that this approach governs all police actions. Police procedures issued by the British Home Office stress that "some international terrorist groups are associated with particular identities," and the focus of surveillance efforts on men of "South Asian" origin leaves little doubt about which identities they have in mind. Italian counterterrorism investigators, similarly, recently cracked down on an Islamic terrorist network by focusing their efforts on Italy's North African immigrants. Notwithstanding the idiocies that public officials feel compelled to utter, for much of Europe's counterterrorism establishment there is something very wrong indeed with being an Islamic fundamentalist.
Thornton does note in passing that European countries have "started to change course" by deporting radical preachers, placing extremist mosques under surveillance, and strengthening assimilation policies. But in a book that sets out to chart Europe's possible demise, these efforts at self-preservation would seem to deserve more than the single paragraph that Thornton accords them.
Such shortcomings are the exception, however, in an otherwise provocative and illuminating book. Thornton's is not an entirely novel argument-writers like Bat Ye'or, Bruce Bawer, Claire Berlinski, and Melanie Phillips have covered similar territory, and Thornton acknowledges a debt to their work-but his spirited rhetoric and refreshing disdain for political correctness make Decline and Fall a pleasure to read. And if it turns out that rumors of Europe's imminent extinction are slightly exaggerated, then Thornton, an avowed admirer of its "magnificent civilization," won't be disappointed.
Equal Rights Nonsense
Now that the excitement of Super Tuesday has passed, we should remember the kinds of policies and principles at stake. Exhibit A: three pieces of legislation pending in Congress that would dramatically increase the liability of private companies for alleged acts of employment discrimination. The first would resurrect the discredited idea of "comparable worth." The second would add various sexual orientations to the classifications protected from employment discrimination. The third is a plaintiffs' bar wish list, aimed mostly at overturning cases it lost in the Supreme Court.
There are actually two versions of comparable worth legislation, the Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The former is co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama; the principal sponsor of the latter is Sen. Hillary Clinton (Mr. Obama is a co-sponsor). Both would push companies to set wages based not on supply and demand -- that is the free market -- but on some notion of social utility. The goal is to ensure that jobs performed mostly by men (say, truck drivers) are not paid more than those performed mostly by women (paralegals, perhaps).
President Ronald Reagan correctly called comparable worth "a cockamamie idea." A great lesson of economic theory, not to mention historical experience, is that government-set wages and prices not only curtail freedom, but lead to shortages, surpluses and market disruptions.
The second bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, passed the House of Representatives last fall. It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation." In short, private-sector employers who have religious or other objections to homosexuality would be told their moral views lack legitimacy.
The Bush administration has announced its opposition, noting that the bill raises constitutional problems and "turns on imprecise and subjective terms that would make interpretation, compliance, and enforcement extremely difficult" and is "virtually certain to encourage burdensome litigation." Sen. John McCain is opposed to such legislation; Sens. Obama and Clinton are supporters. Sen. Edward Kennedy is expected to introduce the bill later this year in the Senate.
The third measure -- the Civil Rights Act of 2008, introduced on Jan. 24 by Sen. Kennedy (co-sponsored by Sens. Clinton and Obama) -- is the plaintiffs' bar wish list. It would, among other provisions, eliminate existing damage caps on lawsuits brought under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act; add compensatory and punitive damages to the Fair Labor Standards Act; and push states into waiving sovereign immunity in individual claims involving monetary damages. It would also give authority to the National Labor Relations Board to award back pay to undocumented workers.
In addition, this bill would make it easier to bring and win "disparate impact" lawsuits under a variety of statutes, including Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Disparate impact claims need not allege that the criteria an employer uses to hire workers are discriminatory on their face, or discriminatorily applied, or adopted with discriminatory intent. Disproportionate results are enough. The threat of such lawsuits not only decreases productivity by pressuring private (and public) entities to abandon perfectly legitimate selection criteria, but also encourages the use of surreptitious quotas. Both of these outcomes, needless to say, are perfectly fine with the civil rights lobby and its lawyers.
Other bad legislation is pending. There's the Fair Pay Restoration Act (aka the Civil Rights Pay Fairness Act), co-sponsored by Sens. Clinton and Obama, and designed to overturn last year's Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. If passed, it would effectively eliminate any statute of limitations in many employment-discrimination cases. There's the Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act, designed to overturn at least four Supreme Court decisions about the ADA and make a bad statute even worse.
There are some good legislative proposals as well. One would prevent the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from suing employers who require employees to speak English. Another would require federally funded universities to reveal whether and how they use racial and ethnic admission preferences. But there are many in Congress whose every instinct is for the central government to intervene in the market whenever a decision offends their personal sense of "fairness."
This is astonishing in a republic established on the basis of limited government and a free market. Lamentable, but tolerable -- so long as there is a critical mass of senators and representatives who disagree, or a president willing to veto the resulting legislation. That's something to bear in mind later this year.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.